Survey: Evangelical leaders really don’t want to endorse politicians

"But a new survey of evangelical leaders — mainly pastors whose flocks were crucial to Trump’s victory in November — shows that close to 90 percent of those asked opposed the idea of clergy endorsing politicians from the pulpit."

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Bert Perry's picture

Regarding the Johnson Amendment, it strikes me that to get rid of it, you've really got to get rid of the 16th Amendment and the income tax.  I can't fault people for being a little grouchy that their groups are NOT tax exempt and endorse politicians, while ours ARE and might soon do so.

And as much as I'd favor getting rid of the 16th Amendment, I sure am not going to hold my breath waiting for it to happen.  :^)

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Mark_Smith's picture

from the pulpit that is fine with me. But, the government should force pastors to NOT mention politics from the pulpit. That is the point. 

Jim's picture

They can say (for example):

  • Abortion kills image bearers and is murder
  • Government's role is defined Scripturally and xxx program is not part of that definition
  • God is the One to define marriage 
  • Sodomy is sin and "do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals ..." (1 Cor 6:9)
  • Debt is a plague and when a government borrows 1/3 of what it spends there will be consequences someday

What they cannot do is endorse candidates (it should stay that way)

G. N. Barkman's picture

Sodomy is the subject that is going to destroy first amendment religious liberty.

G. N. Barkman

Joeb's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

from the pulpit that is fine with me. But, the government should force pastors to NOT mention politics from the pulpit. That is the point. 

I with you 100% Mark on this one.  BINGO! BINGO! BINGO!  Start doing  more about loving your enemy and leading him/her to the Lord then doing to much to protect your rights to the bitter end.  

Joeb's picture

G. N. Barkman wrote:

Sodomy is the subject that is going to destroy first amendment religious liberty.

GN Barkman did you pay attention to what Mr Goursuch said when asked about that.  Don't bring it in front of me I'll vote no no no no.   The ship sailed.  It's a done deal.  Forget it.  As Mark has said before in other threads concentrate on changing hearts and minds through Christ.   

If you supported TRUMP  TRUMP clearly said reversing GAY RIGHTS OR MARRIAGE is off limits in his term and Trump's Supreme Court Pick Supports this. 

I don't like Christian Heavey  Metal but Korn Cofounder and Believer Brian "Head"  Welch has the right way to reach out to the LGBT Community not getting political from the pulpit and bashing gays vote Republican.   

Joeb's picture

I like Ted Cruz because he gets it we are broke and he would have gotten my support for the Presidency.  He and Papa Cruz are probably a good example of preaching politics from the pulpit.  

Cruz and his bunch were also now found  illegally creating Lilly White Evangelical/Fundamentalist Congressional  Districts by the Federal Appeals Court in Texas.  Also the Republicans were found guilty of this in Wisconsin and Virginia.  

Supreme Court has found  if districts are rearranged with racial biast it is illegal and already returned cases back to Va confirming the findings. So with Gorsuch being a big time individual rights guy Bye Bye some Lilly white Congressional District and Bye Bye to some of the power of the Freedom Cacus who are probably the biggest violators of mixing church with politics. 

Mark_Smith's picture

I had a typo in my post above. I meant to say that the problem is government has no business telling a church what they can do or not do. While you might think a pastor endorsing a politician is bad, the government should not force a pastor to not endorse a politician. Period. Thus, I support overturning the Johnson rule on the principle of religious liberty.

Also let me say, I support Ted Cruz, and I support Rafael Cruz. In fact, I voted for Ted Cruz in the primary.

 

Jim's picture

There are many ways for an elder to endorse a candidate without using the pulpit of the church:

For example: 

  • A bumper sticker on his private car
  • A yard sign in the yard of his private home (not the parsonage)
  • His private blog
  • post on social media

there is no need or value for an elder to use the sacred desk of the church's pulpit to endorse a candidate

 

 

Ron Bean's picture

When a preacher preaches the Word of God, he has divine authority behind him. When he offers his political opinion from the pulpit and thinks it may influence his congregation he's deluding himself. If he thinks he is the source of information that his church knows little or nothing about, he's insulting their intelligence.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Mark_Smith's picture

The point is IT IS NOT GOVERNMENT'S BUSINESS to tell a pastor that he cannot endorse from the pulpit.

Jim's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

The point is IT IS NOT GOVERNMENT'S BUSINESS to tell a pastor that he cannot endorse from the pulpit.

Under current law it is ... 

Net: Want the benefits of 501(c)(3)? Live by the rules of 501(c)(3).

Joeb's picture

I supported Cruz for the one reason but he greatly disappointed me after Iowa. His foot troops dropped the ball big time in SC and from then on.  Beside that I have no problems if a Pastor gets political from the pulpit as long as that does not override the primary mission of the church.  Hence doing more protesting rallying and other political activities than upholding the great commission.  

So give up the non taxable of donations and you can do all the politics you want.  Not fair to do it and reap the benefits of nontaxable statutus of the institution and the donations coming in.  I know for a fact that Bible College Profs salary are set up in way that they are treated like Pastors.  They get to write off everything.  I have no problem with that since they are on the most part low paid.  So if you get rid of this and the connected special tax adavnatages is it worth it   

Now when I was a Federal Employee I was limited by the Hatch Act in my involvement in Party Politics. The Republicans are trying to get rid of the Hatch Act to.   

Joeb's picture

Mark just because the very politically active Republican Christian Right want the aforementioned does not mean other Christian institutions want it.  The Catholic Church (You Know Those Apostates Unbelievers) and other Evangelical/Fundy  Churches may not want it. So not all Christianity in the US agrees. So why should the demands of the few overweigh the majority.

 

As I said some of those Evangelical/Fundy Lilly White District Cruz and others created are going to disappear.  I count at least 6 that were found illegally obtained due to Racial Biast. Drawing the lines around large groups of Hispanics who were in the original districts.  Sure seems racially biast to me.  Again OOOOPS  20 Freedom Cacus Members to 14.  They already lost Gothardite Daniel Webster. Need to draw up a new Lilly white district for their buddy. 

Is that not the second Democrat allegation proved true besides the false Planned Parenthood videos   Oops now there being charged in CA.  Nothing Cruz can do their to get them off the the hook. Plus all that evidence a Republican Texan Tea Party DA appointed by Gov Perry developed can be used against them. That DA was not a happy camper getting lied to by Cruz's and the Freedom Cacus' Planned Parenthood Activists. 

Anyway I still would have supported Cruz because the Bankruptcy of our country to me is more important then anything else.  So let's concentrate on total minutia like allowing Pastors be politically active.  While Trump Little Marco Ryan Pence and the rest of the Democrats line up the can for the next field kick the can down the road.  All and I say all are GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY except Cruz and Rand Paul and a few others for running this country into total financial destruction.  So this issue take precedence over our Children's and Grand Children's  Futures.  I say Hogwash. 

Note: The aforementioned thread in Bert's application of logic applies.  We are putting the cart before the horse.  I don't care how they do it after blocking out defense and law Enforcement out from any cuts just do it pay the bill.  Taxes Cuts whatever cut the crap and pay the bills. Outside Supporting Israel who cares about anyone else. Pay the tab.  

Example 1 of Logic Not Applied: The Pentagon told General Dynamics they don't need Anymore Tanks.  We have more than enough to meet are needs until we get a new one.  Spare Parts Improvements Refitted etc.   Oops Plant is in Lima Ohio a Republican Congressman's Distirict. Not going to cut that in my district need the make 30 a year to maintain the Expertise.  Bull the Pentagon already said we have all bases covered even in a worse case Semitic. .  More than enough.  Oops Logic goes out the door.

Example 2 : Once s Federal Agency gets a budget they have to spend the money by the end of the year  In 2016 the Pentagon cried and whined about the sequester  Well all Agencies economies to cover any unknown expenses   Ok the Pentagon checked with Auditors where will we be at the end of the year 2 months from now   Oops we are going to be 124 Billion in the plus  Well typically if correctly manage you may have some surplus 300 mil if so training time but uiniforms boots etc   Well how do you spend 124 Billion  All major weapon system contracts are big time approval process so you don't go buy a couple of jets tanks Missiles at the end of the year moral to the story maybe the sequestered budget was the correct one   Again Bert's Logic model   

 

Problem the Gov can't hire of Bert's caliber in Engineering  and Accounting. To low pay to much bullcrap 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark_Smith's picture

Thus the movement to overturn the law restricting the rights of pastors that had no moral basis!

Bert Perry's picture

....what leads to this.  Yes, there is apparent gerrymandering of districts by both parties--California is infamous for this, and I just saw what I consider fairly clear evidence in Pennsylvania as well.  Yes, it's unfair that pastors are under 501C3 rules and all that.  But the root cause of this is that we abandoned the Founders' principle that direct taxation was prohibited, but rather federal taxes should have been duties, imposts, and the like.  Here's the Heritage foundation on the topic.

So in the world we inhabit today, the right of pastors to speak freely on political (and other) subjects is balanced with the 16th Amendment and, yes, Obergefell v. Hodges.  So instead of demanding everything now, I think we need to look at the "long game" of persuading people first of all to Christ, and then to persuade them that the "goodies" they're getting from Uncle Sam simply aren't worth the cost, and that the "protections" they're getting from government also often aren't worth the trouble, either.  A final piece of the puzzle is to select judges who understand that there is no "penumbra of privacy" in the Constitution, but rather that the Constitution simply limits what investigations the government can do.  Roe, Obergefell, and other decisions are all based on this idea.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jim's picture

What makes anyone think that the pastor is uniquely qualified to endorse a candidate? I don't think so

We have half a dozen pastors in our church. One is very involved in politics. Can you imagine this mess:

  • Pastor A (let's call him the Sr Pastor) endorses Cruz in the primaries
  • Pastor B ... John Kasich
  • Pastor C ... Trump
  • Pastor n ... anther guy

Then we have (I think) 20 deacons

  • Deacon A = this guy
  • Deacon n = et cetera

My pastor is a smart guy but I don't look to him for advice about:

  • Medicine
  • Investing
  • Construction
  • Cars
  • Politics
Ron Bean's picture

Ditto to Jim's comments. A preacher who opines on politics is not much different than the Hollywood actor who does the same. While they have a right to their opinion, their expertise in their profession does mean that their opinion is worth more than any else's. He has a right to speak but that doesn't mean he should.

I currently serve in a church (for the next few weeks anyway) in the suburbs of Washington, DC. We have Democrats in our church (yes, they're born again!), Union members and supporters, people who think our current president is either wonderful or a fool, and independent, strong single women who need a man like a fish needs a bicycle. They love Jesus, His Church,  and the Gospel. Some of them work in government. When they come to church, they don't need more politics.

 

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Bert Perry's picture

It strikes me that there is a good place for politics in the pulpit; to remind the congregation that politics does not come above our allegiance to Christ, and to call them to be honest about who's in, or running for, office.  To say "hey, folks, your choice this year is between a philanderer and the wife of a philanderer who ran interference for her husband's philandering.  Ain't no easy moral choice here.."  I have to wonder whether the nasty tone of politics might calm down quite a bit if pastors simply said "vote for who you like, but please, let's not spread nonsense about your, or the other party's, candidate."

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Joeb's picture

My church did just that.  Things were getting heated and my Pastors said look at all the facts and vote for who you think is the best person. Pray before you vote.

Just no debating between each other on Facebook and other social media or in church. You know what Bert it calmed things down and people were reminded about what was important.  Our commitment and service to our Savior. 

Wow logical commonsense Bert   Bert their is no doubt in my mind you have the gift of decrement. The Lord has blessed you with this gift and your church is blessed to have you.  Some churches don't have men like you Bert or don't try to develop the gift in their Brothers and Sisters they have.  The problem is that churches that don't have people practicing this gift Satan sifts them like wheat 

In the old days people could discuss politics without getting into such fights   in church. Personally I never cared and just voted straight Republican and that was it   I think the Christian Right movement was good in the beginning but has lost its way   The demonizing on both sides has not been good and the church's over involvement has hurt it   

Bert's advise may be a good path  It worked in my church   The guy we should be praying for now  is our President Donald Trump   I do like some of his agenda   I think he has honestly been trying   When did a President have a good old fashion Pizza and Bowling Party to help move things along   None in my memory   Of course you can't have Pizza without a nice cold Beer

Here is one to do at churches have a prayer meeting just dedicated to praying for the Leaders in our country   I'm not saying every week but hey why not once a month  List the issues their working on both local state and Federal Government   Has anyone ever heard of any church doing this on  regular basis  like once a month   Especially letting our  local and State Reps know they can share their concerns with the church   You know for stuff we can all agree to   Building a new school   Contracts for road construction guidance to men administering them  From the simple to the complex   Just wondered if anyone heard of any churches doing this   That's real politics in the church   

Many Congressman do things for their constituents   Helping with overseas adoptions to assisting in getting SSA issues resolved  

When I received an almost catastrophic injury in line duty injury in training with a shotgun   I almost felt hopeless  To get my medical care I had to go to my congressman's aide and get help.  I was in tears while I spoke to him.  My biggest mistake was not having a brother like Bert at my side when things were at the lowest.  The pain was so bad I considered taking my life and I was working through it but did not trust the Department of Labor to give me my Comp pay. I had four kids and a mortgage to pay. This worker compensation people were terrible and I can't tell you the Law Enforcement Officers like myself they have really hurt.

 It was only my Congressman that fought for me.  Yes he was a democrat but he was super  fiscally conservative and I think  Prolife.  The Democratic Party at that time hated him but the people loved him.

These are the people who need our prayer. That to me is a church getting involved in Politics in a good way   Eventually the system wore this Congressman down. So sad. Many members of my church were friends with him   

Jim Rob Andrews you probably remember him and knew him  I tell you what this guy personally called the New York Workers Comp Office for me at wrote a letter to them   All the boloney stopped  I'll tell you this God used him in a mighty way   People in my church prayed for him as he was fighting on my behalf  I heard later that he was amazed himself how much he got done   These guys even told Rob Andrews in the past to take hike   I think it emboldened him   In this matter God used him to help a Lawman

If I told you how bad these workers comp people treated Lawman injured in the line of duty you would not believe it  An FBI Agents who to a 223 that hit him high in the spine in richoched down his spine and out the bottom from a knock out dragged out gun fight in Florida  The fight left two perps dead and three FBI Agents  

A Postal Inspector who got s snoot full of paper dust and weapondized anthrax in his face  Got cipro but still got totally screwed up   To young kids and s wife and they said he had to prove he was posinrd by Anthrax   I kid you not   Evidence tested positive and  doctors confirmed his symptoms  

This went on for a year with no pay check no Doc bills paid  They said you had to absolutely prove a enviormental issue  Yeah kill the Postal Inspector test his brain positive  ok good to go   It was the Congressman that fought for this young man and his family   This is a true story  

I know Federal Agents hurt on the job who called me and heard my story   My own people and ATF and IRS CID   The conversation ended Joe I never talked to you and you never heard me say I was hurt on the job   They tripped or fell while mowing the lawn or playing with the kids   They went through their personal insurance